Archive for March, 2009

Ki (Spirit)

The trees, like the longings of the earth, stand a-tiptoe to peep at the heaven
“What use having a great depth of field, if there is not an adequate depth of feeling?”
– Eugene Smith, photographer

“It is true that we can do nothing without technique, but technique alone does not give the depth to our performance. We must unite both aspects into one by attaining a stage where technique and spirit are braided into one rope.”
Kyudo Kyohon Vol. 1 p.22


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Flashbacks to the 2008 ANKF Seminar, CA

In 2008, at the ANKF Seminar in CA, Miyauchi Sensei noted that overall, our movements were choppy and lacked beauty. We should mesh our kihontai and tai hai. He commented, saying our movement should flow. “Hanare is one of an entire movement. Move the people and you will be moved.”

Satake Sensei pointed out, “A jug tilted is off balance. Be water in a jug. Beautiful. Carry out the eight stages of the hassetsu correctly and you will hit the target. Stay with proper form. Carry that movement into everyday life. Mind over warrior. Don’t be bothered by thought. A warrior trains. Don’t be moved by things in daily life. Don’t be captured by thought. Keep training, mind strong, calm.

Ishii Sensei queried, “Where are we bowing? With what feeling? What feeling do we have on yu? Each movement should be spiritual. It has to mean something. Enrich the spirit. As we progress, we get careless. We will loose spirit. Keep beginner’s mind.”

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The World is Too Much with Us

William Wordsworth (1807)

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon,
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not.–Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.

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The Road Not Taken

Robert Frost (1874–1963). Mountain Interval. 1920.

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

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No Beginning, No End

As with most things in life, I see this blog as circular. I’m not certain where to begin and I am not certain where it will end. I suppose the idea is to keep moving and making progress.

I recall being of pre-school age and watching some sort of educational TV show. They had a jingle about the water cycle. Bits and pieces of that sometime, somewhat annoying song are still in my head. While it didn’t teach me to sing, it did teach me at an early age to notice how this circular pattern repeated itself in so many ways; with the seasons, with the life cycle of plants and so forth.

As I entered the world of martial arts through the way of karate, one of my favorite teachers pointed out the circular movements involved in each technique. She brought the art into better perspective for me. I saw it as an art involving circles, lines and angles. When these were improper, the technique was improper and would not work as intended.

I wonder how far this pattern of cycles and circular movement extends. Where did we begin and where will we end?

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